And while I’m thinking of what to play at my final departure from this mortal coil, beyond Pete Seeger and Hey Djonkoye, there are a couple of classical pieces that might be included. The first is the theme that comes five minutes into the fourth movement of Brahms first symphony (5:14 to be exact in the video below).
It was the theme for a CBC radio programme when I was growing up – Music in the Morning. It would come on at 9:00 am so what made it particularly special was that I would only hear it when I was sick at home and being tended to by my Mother. The combination provided a special warmth that has stayed with me all my life.
Perhaps you need the five minute build up to make it really work but I don’t think so. I also heard the symphony performed in Melbourne with Zubin Mehta and the Israeli Philharmonic. The most transfixing moment in all of my concert-going life, which was not all that comprehensive but was not negligible either.
The second is the start to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. It is impossible to believe how beautiful this is and how few people will ever have heard it. But there you are.
Life just goes by so quickly that you hardly notice. The video shows the same violinist playing the music both when he was young and then when he was old. Very interesting idea and sadly appropriate. But some music does make time stand still. There are no doubt other pieces I could add to this but these remain extraordinary in my life.